According to an evaluation by the Indeed job portal, specific foreign language skills are required in only about a fifth (18.1 percent) of job advertisements for the German market. If this is the case, however, then the language skills must go well beyond small talk at business lunches and be “business fluent”.
Indeed evaluated current job postings on its website from January to August 2020 and found: When foreign languages are required, English is clearly ahead with 93.1 percent, followed by French and Spanish.
Chinese, on the other hand, turned out to be hardly relevant, despite the trade relations with Germany: The language was only mentioned in 0.3 percent of all German job advertisements on Indeed – the same result was also found in the case of Arabic. Turkish appeared in 0.2 percent of job offers. In contrast, Italian, Russian and Polish were more widespread, and in the analysis of the job portal they landed in ranks four to six.
Viewed across Europe, German is also an important language in professional life. With the exception of Belgium, English ranks first in all the countries surveyed where English is not an official language. However, German competes with French for second place. According to the study, German is more relevant in Ireland and the Netherlands, while French ranks just ahead of German in Great Britain and Italy.
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